Ahhh, sweet summertime. Makes us think of days spent barbecuing delicious food, relaxing by the lake and filling up our boats with the fuel we prefer… providing we can find it.
More than ever, boaters are in search of ethanol-free fuel, also known as E0. Fuel with higher ethanol blends—such as E15—shouldn't be used in boats because it can cause engine overheating, unintentional clutch engagement and metal corrosion. Of the types of fuel approved by the EPA for use in boats, a recent Boating Industry survey revealed the vast majority of boaters (a whopping 91 percent) prefer ethanol-free gas.
But finding E0 isn’t so simple. As Suzi DuRant from the National Marine Manufacturers Association in South Carolina points out, “…the RFS — which already threatens boaters’ engines — could curb the supply of E0 as well.”
Durant also shares that in South Carolina, boaters are “driving miles out of their way” to buy ethanol-free fuel. Imagine what will happen when the federal ethanol mandates continue to increase the amount of ethanol in the American fuel supply. Instead of making more E0 available for boaters who depend on it, there will be more E10 and E15 and less E0 overall.
In the Sunshine State, boaters are facing the same gloomy problem. Florida’s Scott Lewit states, “it's becoming harder to find the ethanol-free ’E0‘ fuel many of us prefer to keep our small engines running safely, and the chances of misfueling are on the rise as higher ethanol blends are forced onto the market.”
Summer should be filled with relaxing days on the open water, not with higher risks of misfueling and severe engine damage.
Let’s put a stop to this ethanol insanity!
As both Lewit and DuRant state, reforming the unworkable ethanol mandates requires action from Congress. As members of the boating community, we need YOU to call on Congress to fix the broken mandates, and protect your engines for the future.